Being a driving instructor can be very rewarding. You have the satisfaction of being a positive change in someone's life.
A strange aspect of the job for me is that you share an aspect of your life with your pupil and may get on really well with them. Then they pass a driving test and it then becomes a bittersweet moment as they move out of your life.
Another aspect of the job I like is that there is always something new to learn. There are various professional courses you can take. It’s good to talk with other driving instructors who can be very helpful. In a very short space of time you will know which ones to avoid as apparently they really do know everything!
At driving-pro.com I am very lucky to be working with some top instructors. We have regular monthly breakfast meetings and it is good to touch base with each other. Any work or instructional problems can be sorted out with a bit of good company.
My style of driver training is very relaxed, so for me it is important that I like the pupil. As they are paying me I normally find this very easy. I will work with the pupil and try and do my best for them. Quite often I worry that my best might not be good enough.
I run my working week round my diary. This is a large Agenda Planning one. Some instructors use Apps but I prefer paper. My age I guess.
Most of my work is local so I am able to pop in and out of home during the day. If there is something I need to do during the day I am able to work my diary around that. However I do need to be mindful of pupils regular slots.
Overall for me it’s a people job and people are the best and most precious thing of all. So if you can get them to drive safely you have done a good thing.
My working week is about four days now and I will do a bit in the early evening on some of those days. My pupils are a complete mixture of male, female, with a high proportion of overseas students. My youngest will be 17 having been given driving lessons for their birthday. My oldest ones are in their fifties.
I have realized than when I’m talking to some of the youngsters that I am talking about things that they have never heard of. But by the same token they are talking about things I have never heard of either. But that’s a thing with the age difference and we do get on.
When I’m working with the pupils I normally want to learn something from them as well. It might be a turn of phrase or a way of seeing the world. Better than that it might be a recommended book or film to watch. Or maybe a recipe! I enjoy both cooking and eating what I have made.
Occasionally you can learn something more profound from your pupils. I became a vegetarian on the basis of a chance remark by one of my pupils.
As an driving instructor I am very open to pupils bringing friends and family on the lesson. When they pass they will be with them so why not when they are learning?
You will meet people in their richness and diversity. Treat them as friends.
You will have to adapt to your pupils. This is the trickiest one. As a new instructor you will want to be as open as possible to your pupils. Over a period of time you will learn to say no.
Your Pupils Tests:
Tests always take a priority over anything else and I will advise my pupils accordingly. Sometimes for different reasons they will want to try even though I do not think they are quite ready. Very occasionally I will tell a pupil my car is not available to them to take their test. Normally we will have discussed this and will have put it back.
The best bit is when your pupil has passed their test and tears of joy are not uncommon. There are not many jobs that will give you that sort of satisfaction.
By the same token the worst bit is when you have had a pupil fail. Again tears are quite common. Some people will have an awful lot riding on the result. So long as you have done your best for the pupil and have been fair and honest with them this is normally okay to deal with.
Advanced Driving Tests:
A lot of us driving instructors like to go on to take more driving tests! We drive and teach it for a living so why not do the advanced tests?
The most familiar one is the IAM test which is one hour pass or fail.
The next is RoSPA one hour who’s pass’s are graded Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Less familiar are The Diamond advanced tests run by the Driver Instructor Association.
The Diamond Advanced is 60 minutes in length, includes two maneuvers and no more than 6 driver faults for a pass.
The Diamond Elite is 90 minutes in length, includes two maneuvers and no more than 2 driver faults for a pass.
Only open to driving instructors is The Cardington Test which is run by The DVSA and is 90 minutes in length, includes all four maneuvers and is graded.
Grade A 0-3 Driver Faults
Grade B 4-6 Driver Faults
Grade C 7-15 Driver Faults
Grade D 15+ or a Serious Fault